News & Analysis

  1. snapchat-common-stock

    Alas, poor Snapchat, I knew thee well – The unicorns are dying, according to Owler

    Owler, a tracking company that offers a service it calls competitive intelligence, is stepping out of its comfort zone of monitoring companies in similar industries, and, quite frankly, veering away from the entire concept of intelligence, with a new report that claims to look into the future to predict which unicorns are going to fail. Surprisingly, the company’s morbidly titled “Dead Unicorn Study” is not a work of Brony fan fiction but a breakdown of the privately held companies worth…
  3. kremlin

    eBay is first Valley giant to comply with Kremlin server law

    The Kremlin has been tightening the screws on Russia’s once-anarchic Internet space, and Pierre Omidyar’s eBay has reportedly become the first Silicon Valley company to step forward and agree to the Kremlin’s top demand: storing Russian users’ data on servers in Russian territory, where it can be more easily accessed by the state security services. According to the Russian daily Kommersant, eBay’s head of Russia operations, Vladimir Dolgov, met earlier this month with the deputy head of Roskomnadzor,…
  4. silicon-valley-hbo

    Don’t fear the down round: What HBO’s Silicon Valley gets right and wrong about negotiating a lower valuation

    While the unevenness of the jokes in last Sunday’s season two premiere of HBO’s Silicon Valley, “Sand Hill Shuffle,” really can’t be debated, the viability of one of the episode’s major plot lines definitely warrants further examination. No, it’s not the plot line about how plunking down your testicles on a conference room table will get you a better valuation. (Let’s hope that’s not behind the recent unicorn wave…Some of us have eaten lunch in those conference rooms.) It’s the…
  5. pando-breaking-news-small

    Justice Department lawyers to recommend block of Comcast-TWC merger

    Antitrust lawyers at the Justice Department are planning to recommend that regulators prevent Comcast and Time Warner Cable from merging. They are said to be planning this recommendation “out of concerns that consumers would be harmed” if the companies merge. [Source: Bloomberg Business]
  7. strictly-business

    FTC solicits ‘sharing economy’ opinions

    The Federal Trade Commission has asked consumers to weigh in on the so-called “sharing economy” and how regulators can balance their needs with allowing companies like Uber and Airbnb to develop their services. The FTC will also examine the sector in a workshop. [Source: The Washington Post]
  8. elsewhere

    Oregon tries to lure Google Fiber

    Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has signed a bill that “exempts ‘gigabit’ Internet service like Google’s from a thorny property tax that dates to the 1970s and was originally intended for microwave towers” in an effort to lure Google’s Fiber service to Portland and nearby municipalities. [Source: Ars Technica]
  9. zuck

    Zuckerberg: It’s better to have free Internet access than to have a ‘free’ Internet

    Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has responded to recent allegations that the company’s initiative potentially undermines net neutrality. In a Facebook status update (where else?) Zuckerberg claims that has already brought connectivity to more than 800 million people across nine countries. At least, that’s the number of people who can use the service, not the number who have used it. The update follows criticisms from tech companies across India, several of which have severed relationships with in the last…
  11. uber

    Dutch prosecutors investigate Uber

    Dutch prosecutors are investigating Uber because it has allegedly provided “an illegal taxi service in violation of a court order.” The company was told to suspend its UberPop service in December; since then, “dozens” of drivers are said to have offered “illegal taxi services” to consumers. [Source: Reuters]
  12. Overheard

    “Twitter is composed of the expressions of hundreds of millions of people from all walks of life and from around the planet. At times, that expression is uplifting, inspirational, thought-provoking and, indeed, world-changing. At other times, it can be confounding, frustrating, provocative and even profoundly offensive to a great many of our users. All of this is a reflection of the diversity of people and opinions around the world.”

    — Twitter's general counsel, Vijaya Gadde, on its efforts to curb abuse

  14. strictly-business

    Vessel raises $57.5M

    Vessel, the streaming video service meant to offer early access to YouTube stars’ videos founded by Hulu’s former chief executive, has raised $57.5 million. The company previously raised $75 million in June 2014; its service made its public debut just a few weeks ago. [Source: The Guardian]
  15. ipad-camera

    Instagram takes a smarter stance on the female body, but it still has work to do

    Instagram has updated its community guidelines to make it clear what will be allowed onto its photo-sharing service and what’s likely to be deleted on sight. The rules are similar to before, but an Instagram spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal that the “language is just stronger” than it was in older versions. The updated guidelines make it clear that Instagram won’t tolerate harassment, and will also take the high road when it comes to weed, allowing people
  16. elsewhere puts passwords at risk has put “millions” of passwords at risk by failing to properly implement HTTPS on its home page, which could allow hackers to execute man-in-the-middle attacks against the dating service’s users. The issue was discovered in early March; it still hasn’t been fixed. [Source: Ars Technica]
  18. pando-breaking-news-small

    SEC looks into LA school’s iPad program

    We already knew the Los Angeles United school district’s iPad program was a disaster. Now we also know that the Securities and Exchange Commission has made an informal inquiry into the program meant to determine if it “complied with legal guidelines in the use of bond funds.” [Source: Los Angeles Times]
  19. Uber

    UberPool is better for the environment…than Uber’s normal service

    Uber claims the UberPool ride-sharing service saved an estimated 120 metric tons of carbon emissions in San Francisco between February 20 and March 20. That estimate is based on a few assumptions: that most UberPool riders were in a Toyota Prius, that each of those vehicles is getting its advertised mileage, and that every rider would have taken different routes had they ridden separately. Here’s Uber’s math (emphasis theirs): The miles savings estimate for San Francisco is the…
  20. elsewhere

    Tor director departs

    Tor Project executive director Andrew Lewman will no longer be working on the private browsing service. In a statement, the Tor Project said that he will “take a position at an Internet services company,” while co-founder Roger Dingledine plans to serve as the project’s interim executive director. [Source: Tor Project]

The Week in Review